Asked on Jun 04, 2015

How much fabric for valances?

by SusieJen
Joann's has their homespun fabric sold by the yard, and it's 45 inches long. I need enough to make 4 valances, 72x14 each. One other thing is, the fabric is a small check pattern so it can be turned any way to cut. How much do I need to buy?
  10 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 04, 2015
    You are in luck, in that you know your dimensions and the width of the fabric. Because the fabric is a small check, the fabric can be "railroaded," which means you can cut it down the middle using the selvage as the running length. As for how to create the valance, I suspect this fabric is medium- to lightweight and should be calculated at 2 1/2 times the width of the space to be covered, which means 72 x 2.5 = 180, plus double 1 1/2-inch side hems (6 inches), for a total of 186 inches for each valance. Take that figure and multiply it by 2 and you get 372 inches. This is then divided by yards, which comes to 10.333 yards. Since 1/3 of a yard is 12 inches and you will be making 4 valances, I wouldn't bother buying more than 10 yards. You would only lose 3 inches per valance and that's not worth your money. When it comes to creating the valances themselves, first create double 2-inch bottom hems, followed by double 1 1/2-inch side hems. Once you've done that, if you're using a standard white elbow curtain rod, press over slightly over 3 inches of the top edge. What this is going to do is to allow for the necessary 1 1/2-inch rod pocket, along with a header of 1 1/2 inches, which is plenty wide enough for a valance of this depth. Stitch, stitch, stitch and you'll have your valances.
  • SusieJen SusieJen on Jun 04, 2015
    Thank you so much Swan Road Designs!
    • See 2 previous
    • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 05, 2015
      @Elaine Simmons Yes. I owned and operated my own interior design business that had a window treatment division. I was hands-on throughout the 30 years' operation of the company. I retired in 2009 but still do a few projects for some of my special clients.
  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Jun 05, 2015
    You don't say what style valences you plan to make. Will they just be done with a rod pocket at the top? Or do you plan to have pleats in them. The style will greatly change the amount you would need. Also, with a checked fabric, I would start with your bottom hem, and make sure that it runs the same all the way across-using either the red or the dark edge as the bottom edge. There's nothing that will drive you crazier than having the hem on the bottom of a checked valance not being straight-ask me how I know!. Since it's an even check that will make it easier. Good luck!
  • Carole Carole on Jun 05, 2015
    If you are using a rod pocket you do two to three times the with of the window. Make sure that your checks match if you have to piece the material together..
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Jun 05, 2015
    Carole is right.2-3 times the width of the window for fullness if gathered, 2 times if more formal.
  • Rhonda Davis Rhonda Davis on Jun 05, 2015
    You will likely need 4-6 yards. You do need to pay attention to the direction of the pattern, regardless of what your head is telling you. It is an optical illusion. Fabric is woven with a grain. You need to find the grain and follow it or the whole pattern will be off. Follow the other posters' directions for width of window to determine length of fabric. You will also need to determine how deep your valances will be measuring from top of rod to hem in finished length. Do not confuse terms: amount of fabric needed is 2-3 times length of window width; depth of valance is actual finished length of valance from top of rod to hemmed edge. You have to allow for hems, seam allowances and size of rod pocket. Best of luck.
  • Pamela Pamela on Jun 07, 2015
    3x's the length of your window per valance.
  • SusieJen SusieJen on Jun 16, 2015
    They turned out perfect! Thank you all for the correct measurements :)
  • Terri Terri on Jun 09, 2019

    Why the 1 1/2 double side hems??

  • Linda Linda on Aug 01, 2019

    I want make a swag balance how much fabric